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The Deposition (2da. Parte)



First, I wish to state that I deeply regret the vicious murder of Daniel Bombara, the first missing person in Bahía Blanca, currently being investigated by the authorities. Likewise, I regret the shocking murder of María Guillermina Cabrera Rojo, a girl of 3, the first victim of terrorism, who died on March 12th, 1960. This murder is not being investigated.




As you know, my name is not Culmand nor Culbach, nor is it ZAFFARONI, MARTÍN BALZA or MARAMBIO. Least of all is my name CÉSAR SANTOS GERARDO DEL CORAZÓN DE JESÚS MILANI. All of us were able to read Minister ROSSI and Mrs. CARLOTTO’S comments on the latter: “all crimes must be proved before charges are brought against [a person], [...] because Argentine laws entail a presumption of innocence.” Satirical, is it not? Of the same opinion as Mrs. Carlotto is that of Juliana di Tullio, National Representative and President of the “Frente para la Victoria” party block. On July 2nd, 2014, she declared: “The citizens of this country have a guiding principle for our Nation, and that principle is the presumption of innocence”. Only that in this case, she was referring to Vice-president Boudou. This FPV congresswoman visited the television program “Intratables” aired by America channel. In the midst of a debate on the changes that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had implemented in the Secret Service, the matter was addressed of the economic and operative power recently acquired by César Milani, the Chief of Staff of the Army. Congresswoman di Tullio stated: “Well, let’s not forget, when speaking of what Milani did during the military dictatorship, that he was very young, and there was the issue of Due Obedience...” I wish I was granted the same kind of justice that some of them have, especially MILANI, even though I should not need it. I wonder: Is that what justice in Argentina is like? So, why is it not the same for me?



I used to be a policeman, so I am twice stigmatized: for justice as well as for society, I am no longer a citizen. Thirty-eight years later, during a democratic government, I share Mrs. Graciela Fernández Meijide’s experience of 1977: since I was accused of crimes against humanity, my rights and my words have no value, they are ignored. I am considered a liar and a participant of the only demon there ever was in our country, according to the current story.



The best example of this is what happened in the Court for Oral Trial of Bahía Blanca to Victor Benamo, Esq., who represented the National Vice-secretary of Human Rights. Despite his moral credit awarded to his career and for having experienced the 1970s first-hand, he was forced to resign from his position. I am referring to an incident during the statement given by Mr. Oscar “Congo” Bermúdez. Judge José Mario Tributti warned Mr. Benamo that he was “treading on thin ice” just by his asking questions. Having witnessed part of Mr. Benamo’s career, to read about his current exclusion and downfall is overwhelming for me, given the huge underestimating he is bearing.



There are other examples. Statements made around May 20th, 2014, by the head of the Senators’ block, Gerardo Morales, and a couple of other legislators, Senator Silvia Elías and Representative Pablo Baca, show the ignorance of their prejudgment. Referring to Milani, they declared: The Institutions of State, in this case, Congress, must guarantee that Milani does not go unpunished. How very democratic of them, is it not? They went to the opposite extreme of labeling him guilty without a trial. I do not respect the man (Milani). Somebody once said you can reach the peak either flying or slithering.


Another sad case of what happens to an ex- policeman when he is accused of crimes against humanity is the situation of Police Chief Inspector ATILIO ROSAS. Although I do not know all the details, he was cruelly punished by the military in the 1970s, and now he is punished again by this justice. Congratulations!



 Most of my years as an active policeman were spent uncovering lies, so I am capable of showing some lies registered and documented on this case file, which justice does not notice. Justice is often represented as a lady wearing a blindfold, but not because she is blind, but to represent the objectivity essential to justice. Those “slip-ups” were overlooked despite the unlimited resources available to justice nowadays to investigate this kind of crime, which is preposterous. I am fully aware, as are all of us, that in spite of these contributions to the truth, as a prisoner I am as good as dead. My demise will be brought about by biology and malpractice, inside a prison which in my case is simply a concentration camp. It may also be caused by an attack by members of groups similar to Vatayón Militante, attacks which have already been launched against imprisoned ex-military men, resulting in several injuries. I would respect the fact if someone said right to my face: “we are keeping you in prison, no matter what, until you die”. At least I would not be forced to keep up the farce, long and dreary as it is, so full of noble words such as judgment, right to a defense, justice, etc., paid by tax-payers, of a “fair trial”. The certainty that I was a prisoner as good as dead came to me as soon as I read the arrest orders issued by the former district attorney Mr. Córdoba through the Internet. Moreover, all the consultations I made with several lawyers in Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata, the Office of Public Defense in Bahía Blanca and different judicial officials all agreed on a shared public belief: “if you are accused and a case is fabricated against you under crimes against humanity, you are arrested; and if you are arrested, that means life imprisonment.” The foreseeable and repeated sequence in these proceedings is: preliminary statement; order of protective custody (without the possibility of parole); extremely severe prison sentences, no matter the excellence of the case the defense made. Bear in mind that the arrests, in the case of crimes against humanity, are for ever.



Lawyers declare that “If we get involved, we are made the object of demonstrations or retaliations by different areas of power”, by several media with an ideological agenda and by human rights organizations, for supporting persons accused of genocide. In this case, “mysteriously” (though there is no actual mystery), this is not the case with “public defenders”: they are still called public defenders, while private counsel are called “genocide’s lawyers”. In view of what happened in this city to writers Nicolás Márquez, Agustín Lage and others, the declarations of lawyers regarding demonstration and retaliation threats are clearly confirmed, are they not? Further confirmation is the demonstrations put together using cheap hired protesters at the places where prisoners are to arrive at or leave judicial facilities. Have we not read about similar rallies 70 years ago, initiated by fascism and later perfected by Nazism?

My intention was always to come before justice, and I was always cautioned against it, because nothing could be done about the consequences, and I was advised to let time pass. In spite of this, I traveled 600 km and, on December 19th, 2011, I came to the public defense office of this city, where I had an appointment with one of its lawyers. On that day, this lawyer, “just happened” to miss our appointment. I met with other two lawyers and, after a half an hour interview, I realized that there was no sense in resorting to that organ. They heard what I said but they paid no attention to it, and much less cared about what I said. Without saying it out loud, they were confirming what the private lawyers had told me. I decided, sadly, to await what the course of time would bring about.



If I were accused of being an alleged drug dealer, (and I stress the word “alleged”, used in cases like this, for in crimes against humanity, the concept of “alleged” does not exist) and, as an alleged dealer, I was a real criminal against current and future humanity, a long line of renowned lawyers would queue to represent me, even ex-judges, an ex- secretary of security. I would have privileges if I were arrested, I would have the possibility of parole if there was the slightest chance of overcrowding in prison, and I would have the right to undergo cosmetic surgery. I would enjoy lenient fines and punishment. I would not be the target of the attacks of human rights organizations. Actually, these organizations do not attack this type of criminals, do they? In prison, I would be allowed to study, and if I was a good student, my release date would be moved forward. As grand prize, some “visionary” member of a Court of Appeals or politician would argue and get into a fight to reform the CRIMINAL CODE in order to reduce my sentence. If I were an alleged drug dealer, I would have a very high economic status; in case of a jailbreak, my picture would not be much published, there would be no reward whatsoever offered for my apprehension and the media, if I chose to do so, would gather around me to interview me or some lover of mine. They would also interview my attorney extensively, who would make a high- profile defense of my “unfair” arrest, almost to the point of expressing approval of a criminal act.      




Except for the La Nación newspaper and other smaller very brave media, the majority of journalists remain silent about those trials for crimes against humanity, about the condition of the prisoners. Readers’ letters on the matter undergo censorship prior to be published. Nothing has changed from the 1970s up to now.  In those years, the military were acclaimed and left wingers were hushed. Nowadays, similarly, the same thing happens, but reversed. Simple opportunists, are they on the monthly payroll or are they just cowards? Pure hypocrisy, from everybody, is it not?



We are all responsible for this, so we are all going to regret the enormous change of life coming about deeply. Policemen used to live in humble neighborhoods, just like now. The huge difference is that before, even if not outstanding, the policeman was the local authority in the neighborhood, to whom people could resort in an emergency. He was the limit of the thin “blue line” (the imaginary protective circle that the Police formed around the citizens) he enclosed. Nowadays, things have changed. As policemen are constantly stigmatized as uniformed people, which equals “repressor”, the policeman has lost all authority in his neighborhood, and the vacant space is occupied by a drug dealer. That policeman, who is usually a family man, lives in fear and, unsupported and full of impotence, he has to submit to the “new authority”, and even seek their favor. From there to newspaper headlines like “Collusion between the police and drug trafficking” there was but one small step. However, the connections among mafia, ephedrine, pharmaceutical wholesalers, murders and contributions to the “K” campaign were hushed. A truly ideal outcome for evil.


Back to my arrest: at my age, any sentence or detention pending trial for several years, as is usual in Argentine “justice”, means no less than death. At this age, a year in prison equals 10 or more of a young prisoner. I am not rejecting my fate, because after what I have seen and experienced in my life I am quite fatalistic. My mind will continue to be free. What is to be, will be. Today, something similar to what happened in the 1970s in the trials against the military (I say “similar”, because I think there were no life sentences) repeats, according to these proceedings. A portion of a statement by a witness for the prosecution says: “I attended a military trial, I was forced to do so. The defendant was submitted to interrogation and we had to be there as audience. There was a military body and a soldier posed the questions (whether he had any pamphlets, etc.). We were there as the public. I think that the interrogation was an act, because the decision was already made. If a soldier makes questions, a military court judging him should sentence him. He was sentenced beforehand. There were twenty or twenty-something military men as audience. We witnessed the interrogation.” Today, the same thing happens, or does it not?



Recently, I watched videotapes of “the trial” at Colón 80 for several hours, and they made quite an impact on me. A young, active man stands out, Abel Córdoba, who takes over the floor. There are a bunch of “old men” with empty, uninterested eyes, who appear to know nothing about what is going on, who look exhausted and who want nothing but to get back to their prison pavilions. These old men, when still free, did not worry about their imprisoned comrades. When they were arrested, and only then, did they notice and complain about the lack of concern of the ones who were still free. In this way, Berthold Brecht’s prophetic verse repeats itself over and over: “... One day they came to take me,
and there was nobody left to protest.” Aside from prison, they are only united by their prayers and by the slight hope of a “miracle” which will set them free and send them back to their families. They still think that they hold their past military rank, and many of them almost surely do not grasp that we are all less than common criminals. I say “less than” because not even the laws which apply to common criminals are applicable to us. In that sense, there is not an ounce of shame. Very few notice that we are all as good as dead, and that there is a whole system, running smoothly, especially put together to ensure this. During the trial, some media or other, of “slightly partial” ideology, takes numerous pictures of the defendant, mainly when they look down, because that pose expresses guilt and shame, and publish only those. They discredit the defendant to the point of mockery. Are they also “brown shirts”? The other media, the former pro-military, have disappeared. They keep silent. They do not publish the outcry of a prisoner unjustly detained. They have become deaf, mute and blind. In the best of cases, one of them, from time to time, publishes a mild comment or a lonely letter from a reader. Judges show but the slightest interest, very seldom asking a question and when they do, it is of no importance, about the facts being examined. They even act and rule as calligrapher experts when any witness for the prosecution can not recognize their signature on a Minutes. The defense attorneys, save for a few honorable ones, consent the prosecutor in everything. The latter presents witnesses who ignore even the name of the defendants, who do not know who abducted them, where they were held nor any other detail of the facts. They do express a reasonable sorrow for some victim, or for having been victims themselves, but nothing else.



On the opposite side, the immense majority of the surviving relatives of so many people killed and disabled by the terrorists, now deemed “wonderful youngsters on social work” during the 1970s, have nothing to say about it. Their silence, their fear and their apathy almost ratify the events. Entirely different from the hyper-active “Madres” and “Abuelas”, (despite some of them having corrupted themselves to the core) and numerous groups who proclaim the “social work” of the 1970s on a daily basis, and who honor their dead. If these dead could see them, they would be very proud of their descendants and the new activists.


Speaking again of the oral trial, some defense attorneys seem not to have the slightest idea of what the trial is ab about. I am starting to understand this now that I myself am getting to know the case file. Besides, judging by their attitudes, it appears that they are eager for everything to be over as soon as possible in order to go home. Meanwhile, they raise their clients’ expectations in the hope that they will not protest when their rights are trampled, not to speak of the poor counsel they receive. They clients are usually given a bad script and told to lie, taking advantage of the fact that they are off-guard and put their trust on their lawyers, and that they are not well acquainted with the facts of the accusation. I have conclusive evidence of what I affirm. In my opinion, in truth, this is a farce developing in plain sight, and it can be proved by the existing documents on film. The good aspect of this is that, in the future, these court filming, together with judicial documents, will allow complaints similar to these about missing persons to be presented. 



The setting for the oral trial deserves a chapter of its own, for it is absolutely different to an ordinary court. The arrangement of the courtroom prepared in Bahía Blanca prevents defense attorneys and defendants to see the “victims” and the “witnesses”, so that they cannot watch their facial expressions. I would really like to look into their eyes and for them to look into mine. I am positive that in many cases, their looks would be evasive and their eyes would fix on the floor. I always believed that truth is to be said face to face. If I can do that, why cannot others do the same? On top of that there is the refusal to permit the defense to ask them any questions.



In this environment of solemn truth and justice, I imagine that some entities of darkness, disguised as lambs, are highly respected and operate among judges, prosecutors, policemen, penitentiary officials, members of human rights’ organizations, defense attorneys and obviously, elderly people about to pass away, some of whom might have been their pursuers in the past, and who are now their helpless victims. I am positive that, if these people could identify and express themselves openly, they would be jumping and screaming with joy, falling to the floor and bursting into peals of laughter, with tears of happiness streaming down their faces. Has evil won the battle once again? These murderers (frequently serial killers) talk, see, hear, perceive and participate in what happens. When I call them “entities of darkness”, I refer for example to those people who, when they were young, had no qualms about killing babies or children. They would come close their target when he was distracted with his wife and small children, carrying shopping bags or other stuff, and murder them all from behind. Truly worthy of a print by GUSTAVE DORÉ.



I wish to highlight that in the judge ruling which ordered the arrest of Noel, Loncon and Salinas, dated February 9th, 2012, issued by Judge Alcindo Álvarez Canale, there appears stated that in September, 2011, this judge had taken steps to obtain spaces to hold the three at the Penitentiary Service of the Province of Buenos Aires. However, at that time, there were still requests to be received, expert reports to be ordered and performed, etc. Once those were received, and it was evident that they contributed nothing new to the case file, the three arrests were ordered anyway. Really intriguing, is it not?  



I will not declare that I am innocent, because almost every defendant always claims that. Given the seething rage that I feel due to the injustice me and my family are suffering, I will only say that, ever since this whole thing started, I fervently wish death, sorrow and the greatest personal and family misfortune to fall upon the persons who, out of hatred, ideology, negligence, action or omission, took part in this fabrication. If I were responsible for any harm against the victims in this case, I would be included in all my evil wishes. Throughout my life, I tried to become a better person and a better official, keeping any feeling of hatred and anger away, because I considered them detrimental for any human being. Unfortunately, these new experiences I am going through have really thrown me overboard, and the awful feelings I always rejected have got the best of me.


DAMNED 1970s

I suffered, as we all did, the damned 1970s, and I survived. Today, in similar circumstances to mine, some people let themselves go and become passive, keeping silent. I respect that, but I do not quit, and I shall never do.



On the Internet, one can read about future arrest orders months ahead of time in this case file. Proof of this anomaly is Judge Alcindo Álvarez Canale’s reprimand of prosecutor Mr. Córdoba: not only could the proceedings have been delayed, but also the witness could have been endangered or the defendants-to-be could have fled. If the witness, Ms. Salto, had been the victim of a chance mugging or murder, we would have another “López case”. The duties of the prosecutor are: this official shall carry out his duties in accordance with the principles of legality and objectivity”, which does not happen in this case. This fact is too obvious. He “identifies” us by complete names AS THE AUTHORS OF THE MURDER OF BOMBARA, by means of an article written by DIEGO MARTÍNEZ, printed on August 31st, 2011 in Página 12 newspaper. This was consented (and mildly reproved to cover appearances) by Judge Álvarez Canale, indifferent to the fact that during all that time we were exposed to possible mythomaniac witnesses, though fortunately no one turned up. 


In the case file:

Ruling of February 9th, 2012, signed by Judge Alcindo A. Canale, page 2, where the arrests of Loncón, Noel and Salinas are ordered.



PPRETTY NICE EXAMPLE OF HOW THE LAW IS OBEYED WHEN IT COMES TO US. Needless to say, the prosecutor continued to advertise and making statements as he pleased and the judge did nothing about it.


For this reason, and for my family and the families of the victim, I wish to make a statement about what was published. If the victim had suffered a chance criminal attack, we would be blamed for it. This circumstance leaves the journalist indifferent, because he only cares about getting an exclusive piece of news. This is why I have always been cautious when dealing with the press. I disciplined myself to control my ego, so as to make as little mistakes as possible, as did the majority of the officials. They were different times. As I said before, publicity is a magnet for MYTHOMANIACS AND MALICIOUS PEOPLE. A clear example of this is what happened with the bodies in the Punta Alta cemetery, as retold by stone mason JOSÉ PALACIOS. Mr. Palacios told the local journalistic portal Punta Noticias that thirty-seven years ago he used to work at the cemetery, and he used to see men in military uniforms who arrived in “jeeps or pick- up trucks”, armed and with black hoods on their faces, and forced the workers to withdraw. On one occasion, when the soldiers had left, “we came back to see what they had done”, and “we notice that the ground had been turned over”. At that place, bone remains were found recently.

And read: No son desaparecidos Posted on 05/07/2013 by efemedelacalle     


I suppose that justice and the Navy have made the necessary legal complaint for his lies. If this was not the case, one would be led to presume an obvious judicial favoritism and to conclude that the Navy is currently a Force without any force that has lost its pride. Every high profile case makes these characters emerge (Cabezas, Ángeles Rawson and other similar cases). An investigation is distorted, the taxpayers’ time and money are wasted and all of us are ridiculed, even though attempts are made at covering up the issue, especially when it is as absurd as this case. A perfect example of this is the case of LUCIANO ARRUGA: two witnesses stated that they had seen his body at the police station (nowadays it is a memorial site), covered in blood. What really happened is that he had been run over by a car, whose owner fortunately stayed to assist him. Despite having occurred only five years ago, that is, with the existing advanced technology, nevertheless there were mistakes identifying the body. What is left to say for the identification of bodies thirty-four years ago?   



I wish to express  my outright rejection to the statements issued by APPEALS COURT JUDGES ÁNGEL ALBERTO ARGAÑARAZ, EMILIO PLANES Y PABLO CANDISANO MERA, in their ruling dated June 6th, 2013, where my family name is associated with the process because “THE PRONUNCIATION OF THE NAME IS VERY SIMILAR”, inferring that I participated in a “TASK FORCE”. I repeat what is said, reproving the part: “THE PRONUNCIATION OF THE NAME IS VERY SIMILAR”.



When the phrase “Task Force” is used, I read in Wikipedia that it is used to describe a group of outlaws, kidnappers, murderers and rapists who seized other people’s goods and lands. As completely opposed to this, I wish to stress the fact that I was a policeman for thirty-one years, within a police hierarchy under the State, I was authorized to carry a legal weapon and I arrested and placed at the disposal of justice every offender, having previously complied with the required proceedings. The same goes for all, (I repeat, ALL) of the goods seized during the process. I doubt whether many of the officials or ex- officials of any of area of power can say that out loud and looking straight into the person’s eyes. Does Mr. Argañaraz, Esq. know what the Bahía Blanca Regional Unit was, where it was, what kind of facility it was, how it worked, what tasks were carried out there, and what kind of employees worked there? I am positive he does not. If he did, he would never affirm that a “TASK FORCE” operated there. In addition to the Chiefs (1 Chief Commissioner and 3 or 4 Chief Inspectors), there were several administrative offices which managed the Unit (Personnel, Logistics, Operations, Vehicles, Press, etc.), cooks, mechanics, a barber, couriers coming and going, radio technicians, radio operators, women and clerks.



At the end of the building there were three sets of radio equipment permanently working, and the windows were kept open due to the mid-summer heat which added to the heat of the equipment itself (the victims mention the intense heat). The noise from these radios was heard through the entire premises. ¿NOBODY COULD HEAR THEM? On December 29th, 1975, maximum temperature was 40o C and minimum 17oC, and the sun went up at 5:45 a.m. and went down at 8:36 p.m. The following day, maximum temperature was 39o C and minimum temperature, 27oC. On the 31st, the maximum was 35oC and the minimum, 32oC. The facilities, as they do now, had only one access and exit, on Alem Avenue, which was clearly viewed from the street. That area of Bahía Blanca is a densely populated residential area of a high socio-economic level, and the streets are very well lit. Besides, a Regional Chief who had such an irregular group right next to his office in a city of 182,000 inhabitants (as was the population in the 1970s) would have been a true bovine who would have ended in prison in no time.



It is publicly known that judges taking bribes do not carry out the operation in their own chambers. A private lawyer with no public connection with the judge usually carries out the dealings in a secluded office of his law firm. To be clear, the m.o. in this case would be the same: a Regional Chief would never have a task force working for him in the office next to his, and least of all in a city like Bahía Blanca. This city would not have borne the sequence of commotions that a group of people dedicated to crime creates around it. The chain of command and discipline are disrupted and, in very little time, the whole district hears about it due to the great number of clerical staff that a Regional Unit employs.



I demand that an ocular inspection of the premises be made of the building DESPITE THE DETERIORATION, THE ENLARGEMENTS AND THE PASSING OF TIME. In this way, they will be able to evaluate not only the place were justice says that the “task force” operated, but also the physical space of the so-called “huge” DIPBA delegation where I was Chief for 90 days. I offer myself to assist in this inspection, so as to explain the lay-out, and the Prosecutor’s office would have the pleasure of taking me back to the place in handcuffs due to my status as an offender.  




The Court of appeals itself emphasizes that “among the material seized in the search ordered with the purpose of arresting Jesús SALINAS, (who, before this, had been subpoenaed and had appeared before the court two or three times spontaneously) there is a copy of part of his police file. It is of special interest the copy of a ruling issued by the Chief of Police office of the Province of Buenos Aires, dated November 2nd, 1977 (TWO YEARS AFTER THE BOMBARA CASE), by which Colonel Ramón Juan Alberto CAMPS, as Chief of Police, congratulates the group and even offers petty officers LONCON and SALINAS a promotion.” In Bahía Blanca, I worked the streets with more than seventy different policemen, and I received, together with many of them, several congratulations on outstanding procedures. About the Chief of Police Ramón Camps (he remained in office from April, 1976 until December, 1977, only 20 months.  I worked for thirty-one years. And he was not the Chief of Police in 1975), he was one more among the many Chiefs (military men, politicians, policemen and civilians) who passed through the position during the years I worked for the police. 



It could be mentioned (which it is not) that General Oscar Guerrero was once the Chief of Police. After passing through that position, he became friends with the lawyer and politician Néstor Kirchner, have you met him? Finding some articles on this friendship is quite easy, written by several journalists, among them Jorge Asís, who talk about it and show some picture or other where they appear together. Moreover, a headline from that time, over a picture of them, reads: “Ample support of the Armed Forces by the community leaders”. But, did this compromise the former President? 



Much worse than with Guerrero is the relationship between Néstor, Cristina and Alicia Kirchner on the one side, and “Bombón” Mercado and “Fito” Ponce on the other. Have you heard of the latter? And Ponce with René Bustos? But, did this expose the presidential family? Surely if there was a picture of me next to General Guerrero or Ponce, it would have been seized according to the orders given by the court, and it would have been considered conclusive evidence against me as a repressor.  



Speaking of the commendations, these were given during the year 1977, and they state that “a countless number of offenders were placed at the disposal of the police force (it should have said justice) who, due to their riskiness, produced considerable anxiety in the population.” The commendation was not awarded for fighting against subversion.




At Salinas’ house, a newspaper clipping of La Nueva Provincia kept as a memento was seized. In the article, it is stated that on that occasion other members of staff from several police precincts subordinate to the Regional Unit were rewarded as well, even awarded greater honors. Judge Llobet Fortuny appears in the picture illustrating the article. Was he a part of the Military “Process”? Or, quite the opposite, his memory is an honorable one? His presence there, does it not speak for my actions? Many of the proceedings carried out in those times appeared before his court. If he had had the least suspicion that there existed a “task force”, he would not have let himself be seen in a theater box with alleged “criminals”. In case it is ignored, Juan José Llobet Fortuny was the most renowned person in the justice field of Bahía Blanca, where he exercised his profession from 1955 until 1987. He had five children and nineteen grandchildren, he was considered a role model. I had the honor of meeting. After leaving office, despite his having been very severe at his position, he was never mentioned as having been involved in drug traffic or criminal activities, as in some other, more recent cases. Such cases were never taken into account by any prosecutor, even though the “white (coke) line” coming from Mar del Plata was very easy to trace. Can it be said, nevertheless, that prosecutors and criminals in these cases were accomplices?      




As you may have noticed by the photocopies I presented, I have other prizes (eighteen of them), among which I wish to point out one. It consists in a $2.50 medal awarded by the Senate of the Province of Buenos Aires. The prize used to be one of the highest honors the Province could grant). Its insignificant monetary value speaks of the little regard there was for the members of the Police in general and ratifies my statement on how detrimental it is to disgruntle the current authorities. The authorities’ partiality is unprofessional and opportunistic. Of course, bearing in mind that some legislators, at the beginning of the return to democracy, used to drive stolen cars and pay for drugs with deferred checks because their activity as civil persons had not been economically successful, one can understand those occurrences better.   




In spite of the profound lack of gratitude, support and acknowledgement they receive, I must highlight that the police are the only persons willing to put their lives at risk, and to give their lives, for complete strangers, strangers who, in the case of the death of the police, do not even attend their funeral services. Not to speak of the occasions when funeral services are held on weekends. On those cases, not even public officials attend the services or, if they do, they appear briefly, showing apathy and a bitter expression, and they avoid providing support for the widow and her children. The funeral service is a failure.




I have witnessed the burial of a K9 agent (a police dog) killed in action in the U.S. The agent receives the highest honors and the funeral is attended by more media there than here in Argentina for a human being. I have also seen houses in the neighborhoods where a policeman has been killed, displaying blue ribbons on the doors as a sign of mourning. Funeral processions are 10, 15 or more kilometers long. 




Nobody talks about the health that policemen compromise willingly on this job. Existing studies show the significant levels of high blood pressure, heart conditions, alcoholism and other illnesses that the job produces. This is a consequence of long years of continual strain, dealing  with human sorrow and abhorrent events of high emotional impact, and the fact that very frequently, the perpetrators of these atrocities are not brought to justice, or, if they are, they are released over and over again. A predator on the streets, when arrested and taken before justice, becomes a victim. All this translates, in the least of cases, into persistent nightmares throughout their lives.




Lastly, I am surprised by Mr. Argañaraz’s decisive assertions, because he must have had some reference about me in the past. My grandmother, a retired midwife, my uncle who was both a pharmacist and a lawyer, and even me, did some favors for his family. However, I will not speak more of Mr. Argañaraz, for I dislike to speak ill of the dead.




I am really amazed by some paragraph or other read in court rulings where it is stated that “in all the cases, confessions were obtained by means of torture...” Although it refers to military intelligence personnel, which I never was, I consider the statement very linear and unfair. Was everything carried out as clumsily as it is made to appear? Was not information negotiated? Were there no informers? Were there no collaborators, as the ones described by the brave victim- witness MARÍA LUJÁN BERTELLA, who was a former member of Montoneros, in the case “ESMA II”?  Nothing was looked into? Were there no undercover agents placed among the prisoners? Today, I am certain that some witnesses for the prosecution were military informers in the past.




If we say “in every case”, we should also say that every Justice of the Supreme Court, in the 1970s’, took the oath, as judges, to “faithfully obey and enforce the basic objectives established (by the Military Junta) and the Statute for the National Reorganization Process”, which I do not believe. Not all of them wrote the book Military Criminal Law (1980). Only one of them wrote it, who is known to all of us men and women.




We can not generalize that every Justice recently attended Espartacus, because I do not think it is true. We can not say that every Justice holds apartments where sex and drugs are traded, or that every Justice has transactions with drug dealers, because I do not think it true.




Not everything is forthright, and not everything is what it appears to be. Legal proof of that is the investigation being carried out by Judge CLAUDIO BONADÍO into the payment by the State of large amounts of money to the families of terrorists as compensation, as if they had been victims of the dictatorship or of a paramilitary group, when in truth, they died attacking military facilities or executed by Montoneros, or while out of the country and their deaths had no relation to the military process. I can cite, as an example in Bahía Blanca, at a date close to the Bombara case, a double homicide in which two female veterinarians were killed. They were the former wife and the daughter of an ex- governor of one of the Southern provinces (Neuquén or Chubut). Their name was Solana. They were killed at their home on Irigoyen Street near Rivadavia Square. On a wall in the living room a graffiti was found referring to a vengeance on that politician by an extremist Peronist group whose acronym I can not recall. I was available, so I went to inspect the crime scene, as I used to do. As I was leaving, I noticed an incongruous detail, which helped to canalize the investigation. After several days of investigations in Bahía Blanca, I and other policemen continued in La Plata and the city of Buenos Aires, where we finally managed to solve the case. At that time, the technology of the present did not exist, and the lengths of the investigations were different. Eventually, far from a political attack by an extremist group, we discovered a crime of passion perpetrated by Gustavo Kraiselburd, who resided in the United States of America. He had traveled more than 8,000 kilometers to Uruguay, he had crossed the border on board the Vapor de la Carrera ferry, and then had arrived in Bahía Blanca to commit the murder. Despite his not being able to abduct his victims, he used, that we discovered, gloves, aerosol paint, a hand firearm, probably with a silencer, a hammer and a knife, for both victims showed signs of multiple hammer blows, shots and stab wounds. There were no stains or fingerprints, and no witnesses.




Gustavo Kraiselburd is a relative of the owners of the newspaper El Día of La Plata. This family had been the victims of two terrorist attacks, where two of its members had died. The most regrettable of the two was when David, a two-month- old baby who was killed in July, 1974, when he was kidnapped, by the people who now claim that they did “social work” and were “a wonderful youth”. There are always exceptions to a rule. When a crime is really investigated (I repeat: really investigated), there are at least two possibilities, or more. If any search for the truth is not carried out sensibly and with a mind open to multiple possibilities, the investigation may become a case of malpractice. Preconceptions, generalizations and arrogance are very dangerous and unfortunate. It all depends on one’s ambition, egotism, conceit and, ultimately, one’s conscience.     




As I have already mentioned, I spent most of my years as a policeman dedicated to uncovering lies. Today, 39 years from my beginnings, I turn to this episode, with the support of my family, and I find out that the lies continue.

If one opens the web site, which is supported, among others, by the  Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) presided by Horacio Verbitsky, one may see Emer Peralta Bergna de Solana listed under No. 44 as a victim of the State repression, instead of a disastrous criminal event. The lies and the falsehood of the account are more than evident, are they not? If the missing persons were actually 7,000 instead of 30,000, as there appears to be the most recent discovery, the fake 23,000 had to be taken from some other list, right? I wish some of those others were not “attributed” to me. As a former street police, I made a continuous effort to help people who are now unidentified, silent persons or have passed. So, I am exposed and therefore, the ideal candidate to charge with crimes against humanity lightly.




Reading the decree ordering the arrest, which demands the seizure of decorations, copies of files, newspapers, letters, etc. brings to my mind the year 1955, when my aunt and uncle burned books and a picture dedicated to them by Perón and Evita. I was 10 at the time. I also remember other relatives who fled the country with Perón. Time went by, and in the 1970s, I myself burned a combat manual by “Che” Guevara and other books which had been given to me as presents, after a notice arrived from Police Headquarters saying that anyone found with that kind of literature in their possession would be arrested. I wish to point that I had no sympathy whatsoever with that person, nor with any extremist murderous ideology. That made Fahrenheit 451, which I had just read, real for me. Nearer in time, as a consequence of orders issued by justice demanding the seizure of personal effects, I had a dejá vu, and in 2013 I had to hide prizes and pictures so as not to lose those unique memories only valuable for me and my family. In this way, the complete story is diminished, persecuted and wiped off.




Commemorative plaques are removed, as that of Jorge Vicente Quiroga, a judge who was murder from behind. Framed honor lists are brought down bearing the names of the policemen of the Province of Buenos Aires murdered by the “social and community workers”, as the bastard VICE- COMMISSIONER MIGUEL ÁNGEL MOSSOLANI of the Province of Buenos Aires did in May, 2012. However, the complete truth remains dormant and one day it will resurface.






Returning to the subject of Noel, I wish to say that an excellent human being was arrested. His father was also a model Commissioner with whom I was honored to serve for two years. Noel always lived in the Bahía Blanca area an in the town of General Daniel Cerri, whose inhabitants have known him and his family well. A support rally for Noel was discussed, fear, hypocrisy and cowardice got the best of the people (though this is partially justified by the permanent “escraches” carried out by some organizations against these kind of demonstrators). The army note of 1980 (five years after the Bombara case) in the file on Pedro Noel which is used as “evidence” is possibly written in numerous personnel files in cities ranging from González Chávez to Patagones, for the sole reason of having belonged to the Regional Unit. “All the staff” of the Regional Unit is mentioned. The note, after passing through Bahía Blanca, was signed by the second or third Chief after Vilas, and it is merely a formality. What does Justice Zaffaroni deserve, who has been a frequent employee/ collaborator with several dictatorships? There is also a signature, presumably Noel’s, on a report about the negative results of a search for Bombara’s body. HAVE YOU NOT NOTICED THAT THIS REPORT WAS WRITTEN ON THE SAME TYPEWRITER AS THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION? Although the undersigned is responsible for this report, it is a mere formality in accordance with the model form used by judges at the time, the same we were familiarized with at the Police Academy. I repeat: it is merely a convention, repeated by the millions before the end of preliminary reports, throughout the province. It is part of the “customs and practices”. General MILANI, answering one of the accusations against him, said that he had signed a whole brief by chance. Likewise, it could be stated that NOEL also had signed that report by CHANCE, could it not? However, there is a “slight” difference in the treatment and the judgement that the two men receive.




a) I will not speak of Loncon’s numerous virtues, because he is by now beyond this “worldly justice”. 


b) Regarding Salinas, in addition to being an excellent retired policeman and a great investigator of old times, he was notorious as the “corner watchman” in the town of White. There are two anecdotes which I heard by chance in Bahía Blanca. On the 11th or 14th, April, 2012, I was having dinner at a restaurant which was close to the Municipal Theater, attended to by an elderly waitress. Chatting with her I learned that she was from Ingeniero White, so, naturally, I commented on the fact that a citizen from that town had been arrested. She told me: “I know ‘Negro’ Salinas from my youth. When I was very young, I used to leave my job in Bahía Blanca late, and after getting off the bus, I had to walk past the bars and other entertainment establishments...”, where drunk patrons bothered her as she walked by. SALINAS, at that time serving on the streets in Ingeniero White, one day came down from the security booth and walked with her for several blocks, while he scolded and warned the men against upsetting her. He repeated this for a number of days, until she was able to walk by on her own without further trouble.

The other anecdote is this: there was a habitual drunk in the area whom Salinas used to drag to the man’s home every evening. The policeman locked him in the latter’s house to prevent his disrupting the public order, instead of arresting him and carrying him to the precinct. This happened frequently for a long time until one day, the drunk man put up fierce resistance to SALINAS’ getting him into the house. Eventually, the policeman managed to do it and lock the door securely. The following day, SALINAS learned that the drunk man had moved out of the house, which was already occupied with new inhabitants, inhabitants who, later that day, found a stranger in their home.

Once retired, Salinas worked in view of the public at the Provincia Bank between 1989 and 1998, and then at the Commercial club. He was a very serious policeman who never lied. Knowing him, I doubt that anyone would have offered him an illegal act of any kind and, if they had, that he would accept.  Any of the three men, for example, during a seizure of 10 kg of dollars (the weight of 1 million dollars), as nowadays’ trend dictates that dollars are grouped and counted, I am positive that neither of them would have kept one single bill. Many people from the city and the area are obliged to them, but selfishness and time has made them forget their debt.




First and foremost, I AM THE FIRST TO DEMAND JUSTICE. I always have, though, after many years in contact with justice, and more so since my arrest, I do not believe in justice, and much less so when a part of it keeps putting pressure on justice’s members by means of repeated demands, marches and protests. There are countless examples of this. On the opposite side there is practically nothing. A few shy voices are heard of the prisoners and their families. Most of them are scared. I read on the newspapers about a federal judge hearing this case who boasted to the media of having insulted the mother of one of the defendants, who was probably in handcuffs despite his old age, and all that while the judge was presiding the courtroom. How can anyone believe in justice in view of this? I never did something of the sort but, if I had, I would apologize to the defendant.




This brings to my mind the officials who love to talk. They blame and insult the police for events, in many cases without grounds or motive. They know that police personnel is forbidden to answer or clear their names. If they do so, they are immediately relocated, retired or discharged. They are true hypocrites, cowards living in luxury, which they often obtained dishonestly.




During my youth, I lived between Buenos Aires and Bahía Blanca. I used to row at the Olimpo club. I attended Don Bosco, Nacional Buenos Aires and some other State schools, and I studied French at the Alianza Francesa. Later, as a policeman, I returned to Bahía Blanca, grateful to my grandmother, where I practiced skydiving at the local flying club for several years. Using a play on words, I did not “parachute” onto the city. I carried out several proceedings and then I left the city. I also led commercial activities in it.




I wish to point out that some of the dead from both sides, I repeat, from both sides, in the 1970s were my friends or my comrades (Golbert, Ester, Russo, Ramos). In those times, the dead were seen in very different light depending on the side they belonged to. One side had “good” dead, while the others... Out of respect, I will not repeat the word used to describe them here. Today, the same thing happens, but the other way round. One side is said to have suffered “good” dead deserving “justice” at any cost, WITH THE ADDITION OF SUCCULENT COMPENSATION AND LIFE PENSIONS, OBVIOUSLY, while the other side, nothing. Not even “nothing”: there is the insult which I would rather not mention, and the $200 flag given to the family on occasion of the tragic event. In the 1970s, people would justify themselves by saying: “they must have been involved in something [illegal]”, or “university students are all ‘lefties’ ”. Today, in the same way, the tag line is “all military men in the 1970s were guilty of genocide”. All this makes me really sick. By considering just one side of the story, hatred is still being nurtured on both sides. It is very easy to foretell our grim future if this goes on.

I always wanted to be a police detective, ever since I was 13 or 14. I thought it was the most interesting, noble job any human being could have. So, at 16, I entered Juan Vucetich police academy. Today, looking back on my past, I think that despite all my experiences and what still awaits me, I could not have been anything other than a policeman.




I returned to Bahía Blanca when I was 18, in the beginning of 1964, as a police officer, after two years at the police academy. There, I worked at a judicial police office for two years, until 1966. During that time, he worked even on his days off, in the hope of participating in any procedure. From 1967 until 1979 (twelve years, only interrupted by the advanced police course I took), I worked the streets, investigating crimes. I worked for the Brigade for more than 5 years, in several centers in Bahía Blanca, always as Street Officer. Then I transferred to the Greater Buenos Aires, where I worked for 4 more years for the investigations division. Later on, despite my being just a deputy superintendent, I began leading operative departments, always in the investigations division. That is, I spent almost half of my 31 years as a policeman working in Bahía Blanca, carrying out proceedings together with more than 70 different policemen, as I have mentioned. I must be the officer holding the record in a “confrontation” post, namely working the streets in that city with the weariness and stress that such a job carries. In the 1970s, there were around 182,000 people living in Bahía Blanca.




Fortunately, I was never involved in a shooting in Bahía Blanca, despite my looking forward to it, because I wanted to prove myself. I mention this because nowadays, I notice differences in this, in some event or other of this kind, reported to me by impartial witnesses in the past. I assure to you that what these witnesses experienced and reported in the past is very different from what is told and written today, but I will not provide the details. I am keeping them to disclose later on, when I can reveal the names of the witnesses mentioned without their fearing to be harassed or arrested. I came to this decision in view of what happens nowadays. Besides, I know from experience that a witness of a recent event can be easily induced to contradiction or mistake by an interrogator with minimal interrogation skills and malicious intentions (and much more so if the event happened 30 years ago).  What better example of this than the witness statement of Salvador Roberto CHIARAMONTE (38 - AUDIENCIA BAYON September 7th, 2011 - M)?

I Repeat that I consider myself fortunate, because if I had participated in a shooting, There would be “evidence” that it had not been a shooting but “an execution of innocent people” carried out by me as a genocidal policeman of the 1970s. And, worst of all, I would probably have received a commendation by the Chief of Police, which would have given today’s accusers a piece of conclusive evidence of my guilt.




In 1973 I got involved in the Mopol movement, which was born due to the low salaries and the maltreatment that the police suffered from the military. The conflict was suppressed after several days. We had our radio and telephone communications shut down, and our Headquarters were taken and evacuated by the military with tanks, which resulted in a couple of dead and some wounded from both sides. At the time, the army characterized the movement as left-winged and seditious. So, suddenly now I have become right-winged and a repressive policeman? General Sánchez de Bustamante, General Haroldo Pomar, Colonel Federico Pedernera and Lieutenant- Colonel Ramón Juan Camps (he was Head of Security for several days) were the leading men. Fifty-one war tanks were employed for the task. Today, history repeats itself, but without the tanks, and with the novelty of plundering, which in the 1970s was unthinkable.



In 1975, I had worked the streets for almost 8 years. I read a lot and I was well informed of national and international events. As I am fully aware today of the persistence of a state of war established by the Sao Paulo Forum, in the same way I knew at that time that the first organized guerrilla group had begun an asymmetrical war in Argentina, in 1959. A group calling themselves “Uturuncos” (“tiger men” in aborigine language) had taken the Frías police precinct in the province of Santiago del Estero. Years later, I witnessed how Perón, at that time in exile, gave his support to the “wonderful youths”, which he maintained until he came back to the country and broke off relations with them. I also remember when he organized the “AAA”, the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance, to exterminate Montoneros. How could I ever participate in all that madness, I who was a justice assistant, a policeman with knowledge and convictions?




I recognized that I was the “weakest link in the chain”, and that politicians used to wash their hands (and other parts of the body as well) of the Police, frequently assisted in this by justice. The utmost example of this constitute Presidential democratic decrees No. 261/75, 2770/75, 2771/ 75 AND 2772/75. Not one of their subscribers was tried or arrested. On the contrary, they enjoyed, and the survivors still do, immense privileges (Isabelita, for instance, received around 10,000,000 dollars as compensation in the 1990s).  







Summarizing, I apologize for the wise words of Judge Norberto Mario Oyarbide which I repeat here: “Here [in Argentina], only the dumbasses go to prison... and the underprivileged.” When I was a boy, I remember having seen, terrified, how goods from the Cathedral of the city of Buenos Aires were burned in the midst of a profane celebration.




However, the main reason for my detachment from all that was my experience of the behavior of several different governments towards the Police. I was aware of the hypocrisy of each change, when an official close to the politicians in power was made Chief, completely ignorant of security matters, but nevertheless he gave lectures and promoted astonishing theories. After 360 days, such official convinced himself he had had huge success and institutional improvements. He had just altered uniforms, colors, labels, seals, medals and hierarchies. Then, nearing the end of the year, congratulations and prizes are handed out on Policeman Day, and one becomes a part of the new police force, despite the fact that one has changed not one bit, and continues to work and act just like before. This happens again and again with each new Chief or government, even now, when powerless politicians and leaders, some of them with a short, theoretical degree in citizen security, continue to maintain (perhaps due to their political ideas) that it is the Police who runs and manages crime. They really are a herd of asses (and I apologize to the asses). If that were truly the case, why, before any security breach or emergency, they immediately call retired policemen? I am not denying corruption in the police, but it is insignificant when compared to that of the powers of state, where thousands of millions of dollars have been stolen. These powers can be deemed an actual genocide, for they generate poverty. 




All the while, the Church, as in the 1970s, remains silent. It seems an Italian tragicomic film, when something occurs and is repeated again and again. We used to tease among ourselves that those officials “saw less than a clay cat”. I already know that when an important police procedure was carried out, authorities appeared in the front row facing the media cameras, explaining the whole thing as if they themselves had headed and taken part in the action. And perhaps, without a single thought to one’s work or family stability, the following day the same authority gives one a thumbs-down sign and one is dismissed.




There always were purges in the Police, but it used to be small scale purges when compared to what has been happening these last years, when the “illuminati” carried out repeated purges of police divisions recklessly, resulting in the loss of highly valued personnel, first rate investigators who constituted a role model for younger generations and aided in their training. I had handed my papers for retirement two years before this started to happen, and I did not consider myself one of the top rate policemen, but I did know and work with some of them. I agree that some sort of purge was necessary, but a reasonable one, based on knowledge and experience rather than hatred of different ideologies. The icing on the cake was a true, irresponsible “illuminati” that got to the point of closing down our POLICE HIGH SCHOOL, which was a model establishment of Polimodal education. This institute’s school syllabus depended on the Ministry of Culture and Education of the Province of Buenos Aires, and it granted a High School degree. The school taught young men strong traditional values and strengthened their character. It was created and supported mostly with our contributions. Its closing only showed arrogance, ignorance and hatred. In this way, the spirit of many good policemen was broken. The good in every human being was attacked and demotivated, and in many cases, the worst traits of some policemen were released. We were all unwilling accomplices of these government officials. We witnessed the delivery of new patrol cars for a certain jurisdiction or other, at much publicized acts, and kept quiet when the same, brand new patrol cars were delivered to another precinct. In the end, the precinct would receive 20% of the cars promised, paid much more than their real worth, and we would be held accountable for the poor results obtained from the supposed increase in the number of patrol vehicles received. Brilliant.




Placing just one of the parties on trial is one of the elements of the “system”. As a result, the cruelties allegedly committed by one side alone are constantly heard and reconstructed. The other party’s truth is erased, and even if one does not want it, one must chose a side. If it happened to me, who lived at the time, how will it not happen to those who were born after these events? When I read the statements of the witnesses for the prosecution, and none for the other party, I have to make a huge effort to remember everything that occurred in that decade, so as not to lose my objectivity.




In the mid 1970s, I became aware of what is called “the deep police”, which only a few get to know. They are indomitable in their operation, as they have been and will continue to be at all times. Their hearts have to be won for them to respond, and they know how to do it, without previous agreement and without attracting attention. It is labyrinthine. It is active 24/7. They know good and evil. They go beyond human disguise. They get to see the other side of the moon. That deep police may act (or not), if they wish do so. Similarly, there are many journalists, but those who manage to uncover the corruption in power are very few. So, I maintain that, in order that the deep police makes sacrifices, works and takes action for the good of society, their hearts must be conquered. Almost invariably, we were headed by bureaucrats who knew nothing of security, who worked in air-conditioned offices with excellent coffee and beautiful secretaries. They never knew the existence of the “blue line”. Proof of this is the police rules, where there was an article on “moral weakness” that brought on so much trouble and lies. Worse of all, nowadays, is watching street policemen, standing for 12 hours wearing fluorescent vests and laced boots even in the summer (let’s remember that we are not in Great Britain), with no access to facilities. Measures which have already been taken and resulted in utter failure are repeated, like hiring retired personnel, resorting to the cavalry, forming private police forces, and such others. However, given our society’s short term memory, this only buys some time and promotes deceitful speeches. 




For these reasons and several others, I was always conscious of the fact that I would better keep my distance from any authority unconnected to the police, to maintain my mental health and my work stability. Time has proved that those who did not do so became “falling stars” who ended badly. I never sat with any chief unconnected to the police at any table. I did my job, respecting the chiefs who were true policemen, as I did with true judges in my judicial capacity. In the 1970s, I knew how things occurred in Bahía Blanca. When a policeman, with much effort, managed to solve a serious crime, and after that, came across the victim’s relatives on the street, the usual thing would be for such relative to cross the street to avoid greeting the policeman. People avoids contact with persons who bring back sad or ugly memories of their lives. Something of the sort happened when soldiers came back from the Malvinas Islands. For all these reasons, I would have to be really suicidal to involve myself in crimes of the magnitude investigated in this “mega- case”, moreover without having received instructions form my superior officers in that respect. I always believed that, if at some point I was to kill a person to save another one, that same “another” would “thank” me by making a statement before the court that would somehow place me in prison.




Ninety-seven percent of the people could not care less about the fate of a police public servant who risks and sacrifices his life for them. I reckon I must have been a masochist, because when I had the chance to quit the police to devote myself to other activities, I chose not to.




In 1975, I was appointed Chief of the Intelligence Office of the Province of Buenos Aires (“DIPBA” by its Spanish acronym), Bahía Blanca office, after Deputy Superintendent Ramos was murdered from behind and his 8 year old son was wounded. I applied several times for a transfer from that position, until I finally managed to get relocated after 3 months. During those three months, regrettably, I could find no clue to solve Ramos’ murder. I transferred from Unit Chief to a much less significant position, Infantry Officer. In 1989, in Buenos Aires, I did the same thing: I was appointed Chief of DIPBA at the Tigre Unit, and Y requested and was granted to transfer after 3 months in the job. I WAS AT EASE IN THE POSITION, BUT I DID NOT LIKE IT BECAUSE THERE WAS TOO MUCH BUREAUCRACY AND IT WAS BORING FROM A POLICE PERSPECTIVE. THERE WAS FEW EQUIPMENT AND POOR LOGISTICS. ONE COULD DESCRIBE IT AS A PAPERWORK POST. For example, in Bahía Blanca, the policemen in the Unit did not add up to 15, and they could not do any overtime because they all had second jobs in civil life. Their only vehicle was a Jeep dating from the late 1950s or early 1960s. The DIPBA was lodged in what used to be the landlord’s quarters of the building where the Regional Unit was: two rooms, a tiny facility and a small kitchenette, one or two telephone lines, 3 typewriters, 3 scissors to cut out newspaper clippings and a tape recorder. Nowadays, I read what is said about the DIPBA, and I cannot believe it. Its archive is described as an extensive, detailed registry of political and ideological espionage on men and women covering half a century which received national and international acknowledgement. I am not denying that the archive was something of the sort, but I always despised its strategic value, considering it somewhat childish. Any person today, with an old computer hooked to the Internet, may put together a file ten or a hundred times larger, more comprehensive and more detailed than any one of those kept at the DIPBA. Then one can add a distributor, a source, a rating for trustworthy information and... Done! We can congratulate ourselves for the espionage we uncovered. Should anyone doubt this, I am available to carry out a demonstration on the matter. I hope that my words about that office are not twisted to express criminal activity. I am only stating the truth, withe the inherent risk in this country, where everyone buys the “story”.


I was always consistent regarding my positions. If something did not go with me, or I saw little seriousness in it, I requested a transfer. In 1979, in Bahía Blanca, I was taken off the streets and placed at an office. I applied for a transfer through the Chief’s office of the city of La Plata, and eight days later I was on the streets again, working for the Investigations Brigade in Tigre. I acted thus despite my 33 years, which made my time as a street officer close to an end, and in spite of my having a small business and my home in Bahía Blanca. I sold everything in Bahía and I started all over again in Tigre. In my home town I would have felt undermined. In 1988, again, I was Superintendent Inspector. I left a position as Deputy Chief of Prevention for the comparatively minor one of Superintendent Inspector of the Regional Unit in Tigre. Later, I was appointed Chief of the Northern Drug Traffic Division, where I worked with the U.S. D.E.A. I traveled to the U.S. on a grant. Upon my return, I was appointed Chief of the Lanús Brigade.

Near the end of 1992, after being Chief of the largest Regional Unit in all of the Greater Buenos Aires (2,500 policemen) and having a bright future ahead of me, but not wishing to become part of the top brass at Headquarters (which are political positions), I applied for retirement after 31 years of service. I knew that I would lose my independence as Chief, and the position to be filled by me would involve considerable politics.




In the 1970s, in this city, no sooner had the Army taken over the Regional Unit with an officer called VALERO as military Chief than this officer together with the RU Chief commissioned me to escort a military contingent consisting of 2 flat trucks and a jeep full of soldiers to carry out a raid and arrest a certain person. I chose several policemen and patrol cars. The person to be detained was not found at the domicile. When the raid was being carried out, I disagreed with the military officer on the way to carry out the procedure. I decided to leave the place, taking with me all my staff back to the Regional Unit. Once there, I filed a complaint before my Chief and the military Chief. The latter proved to be a true professional. Despite my being part of a subordinate force, that same night he had the whole of the military staff line up before the Regional Unit and disarmed them. I witnessed his performance at the head of the R.U. for a while, and he proved to be a great person and a real professional in all aspects.




As relevant facts from that time worthy of mention, I can mention my assistance to a friend of former District Attorney Córdoba, who was a witness for this mega- trial. Superintendent Triventi and I each gave him 3,000 pesos of the currency of the time, for him to leave Bahía Blanca, because the Army was looking for me. This man was a friend of Triventi’s more than mine, but I helped him anyway. I will not name him. If he is still a man of good will, he will come forward himself, and perhaps he can provide information about my conduct at the time. We never asked the money to be returned. Only in the case that he passes before I do, I MIGHT name him. If he does not speak, I will not implicate him. However, I do consider that he could have provided references about me in this trial.


I can mention RENÉ BUSTOS, who declared against soldiers in this mega- trial, because months before the coup of 1976, I caught him firing a 45- caliber pistol on the way to Cabildo. He was an acquaintance of Mr. Córdoba, Esq., too. He may chose to lie, but we both know the truth, how I treated him fairly, without humiliation, leaving aside the usual action protocol to secure an armed person, even at the peril of endangering myself. I put no pressure on him; I did not even arrest him not seize his gun. I reckon I was trying to enlist him as an informer, which he never was. ANYWAY, I KNOW THE TRUTH ABOVE ALL OTHER ASPECTS. I remember him and a brother of his: in 1964, when I accompanied Superintendent Vidal in the Northwestern jurisdiction, he resisted arrest, so we struggled for a while until he was subdued.  




In those years, a grenade was deactivated at his home. None of us took into account his political views or his acquaintances on that occasion. I conducted myself like that throughout my thirty-one years in the force, trying always to improve as a person, going beyond politics, ideology, religion or any other difference. Can all of you here say the same of yourselves? A policeman’s mission must be exclusively service to others.




Today, events from the 1970s are being judged and, given the distance in time and the huge changes undergone, I wish to point out several aspects which would be taken into account in a serious, truth-seeking investigation. I know, of course, that this is not the case, and I doubt whether it will be in the future.


Nonetheless, many of the APLAUDIDORES of today were collaborators in the past. Many of those, in the past, cheered the military and, at the same, made contributions to the cause of the “young idealists”, providing them and their families with a certain peace of mind. If I manage to remember the details, I will publish a list of businessmen, professionals, politicians, lawyers, etc. that used to boast about their acquaintance and influence with military authorities of the time, sometimes even reaching the point of being arrogant and abusive. Following requests by some of them or of the military authorities, several Regional Chiefs were retired simply because they did not like “their appearances”. Bahía Blanca, due to its demography (182,000 inhabitants), concentrated several different forces, a powerful newspaper, a strong CGT (Labor General Confederacy), a variety of groups of “wonderful youths”, etc. In the 1970s, Bahía Blanca was the devil’s cauldron. As a destination, it was complex, so the Regional Chiefs were always appointed from officers of Buenos Aires or other cities, who stood out for their impeccable conduct and, in some cases, for their political ability.  




Time and the tag line “we are all guilty” have given the impression that certain absurd MYTHS are truths, when actually they are downright lies. The subject is not particularly related to me but, seeing that no-one speaks out, I will provide some examples.


In several court procedures one can read again and again that “Everybody knew about the place called ‘la escuelita’ [the school]”. Do you not think that, if this was true, the place would have not been raided? It was easy to do so, given the terrain, for the “school” was some 450m from the Napostá stream, and 50m from the railway embankment, which was on high ground. Word was that he was taken to the regiment and that was it. I received accounts of this. He was beat up with the butt of a gun. A policeman would never give blows with his agency issued weapon. Such weapons are used by policemen for more than thirty years of service and sometimes the weapons are owned by them. There is always the risk of the gun firing inadvertently or breaking, because they have very fragile parts, as the gun’s magazine or the revolver’s aiming device or its barrel, and even more with the weapons existing at the time. Today, guns have evolved and are safer. Nobody would work with staff who did such thing, least of all inside a car, where the danger is great, on top of staining the car and clothes with blood, having to patch up the prisoner and leaving indelible evidence of the abuse. The butt blow is a myth, a common behavior in movies, and nowadays, a habit of the common criminals deranged by illegal drugs, whose guns so frequently fail to work. One can read about these cases on the Internet, where victims are wounded by the accidental firing of a weapon. There is only one case in which a policeman will use his weapon to deliver blows: when in hand to hand combat, as the policeman is at a disadvantage due to having his weapon in one hand, as a last resource, he will hit his opponent with it. The persons accused of crimes against humanity receive support from their forces. Is it not known that Institutions take great pains when one of their own or a former member is arrested? Flights are arranged with people from such forces. The mechanisms are unknown. Long hours are disregarded, as are additional services. The men carrying out these long hours and additional services perform at 50% of their capacity, at the most. In addition, there are conditions such as overweight, high cholesterol, etc. Only occasionally, a policeman whose salary only lasts until day 20 of each month will sell the key of a cell. This treachery will not be forgiven by anyone from any force. “He was tortured by tearing off his nails”. The height of the story_ written by journalist Diego Martínez on the Bombara case.




There were no photocopy or fax machines, no cell phones nor computers, of course. There was just one official photographer at the Investigations Brigade. Depositions and testimonies for insurance purposes were taken by hand. Fingerprint collections at crime scenes yielded only 2 or 3 positive results a year, after months’ wait. Communication means were few. There were radio operators, appointed due to their experience at the national post, who handled Morse code. There was a telex machine which was used when, due to bad weather, radio communications with Headquarters were difficult, the same as with the Morse code. Summons were sealed with a huge seal and delivered by bicycle. When several persons were arrested, as in an illegal gambling den, a city bus was commissioned to take them to the police precinct. Arrest orders were published in La Plata as Orders of the Day. Once a week they were sent to this city, and at the Investigations Brigade, a handwritten list was kept of the wanted persons and the corresponding number of Order of the Day. This was for the capture of wanted persons from the area. An imperfect system, obviously. In the procedures which involved seizure of cocaine, the “taste and tongue numbness” test for that drug. CAR WINDOW TINTING DID NOT EXIST_ I STATE THIS FACT TO USE LATER ON. Very few homes had a telephone line. In sales ads, the fact that an apartment had one was emphasized, because it was a great asset. One went out, and there were no means of communication to request back up, information on suspects, etc. There were no élite forces, all raids were carried out by ourselves, with no bulletproof gear, hoping to catch the suspects by surprise. So, the prisoners were detained for 24 hours at AA. They were placed at the disposal of the acting judge. The police carried out the interrogation and held them for eight days at the precinct before they were taken before the Court. Inquiries that can now be made in two hours’ time on the Internet then took seven days of “sweeping the streets” for information. There existed a Code of Offenses that penalized drunkenness, men dressing up as women, swearing in public, carrying a crowbar or a knife, not working, women offering themselves for prostitution, etc., penalizations which would be deemed discrimination nowadays. Such Code carried sentences of up to 30 days in prison. Having a beard was considered out of fashion and “unhygienic”. Tattoos were the result of prison time. It was usual, especially in the winter, that homeless people requested to lodge at precincts for the night, and they were allowed to sleep there. Also, one typically lifted hitchhiking university students going to college or to lunch.




The 1970s marked the end of an era. Some people started to develop “social or community work” (they took up arms). The daily atmosphere began to be rarefied. Society was imbued with panic and mistrust of everything and everybody as a result of the DISGUISE AND DECEIT used to carry out the “social or community work”. There were daily attacks with bombs and awful murders. We knew that if whoever planned the “social or community work” targeted us, we were as good as dead, there was no avoiding it. We were ambushed or bombed. FAL 7.62 guns were used, so that one carrying a revolver or a 9mm gun was like a child with a toy weapon. In our homes, we shifted our beds, keeping them far from the front of the buildings. We were afraid for our families, for our children. There was no knowing who was friend or foe. Our homes had were no longer safe. We could not stay at our job posts forever (theoretically safer places), we had to take some rest. When on the job, we tried to leave our houses empty, sending our wives to their relatives’ homes. As policemen, we knew each other and lived nearby. We did not have the means to periodically change our lodgings, as did the youths who carried out “social or community work”. After the attack suffered by Deputy Commissioner Ramos, we wished that in similar circumstances, one would not survive the shots, only to be set on fire as a way of finishing one off. The small family routines one used to love were poisoned. We stopped going to public places because we had no police custody as did important officials. The family was not taken on rides, or if we did, we did it very secretly, so as not to expose them. We did not talk about where we were going, to avoid betrayal and subsequent ambushes. At a red traffic light, we avoided by any means possible stopping behind a truck or van with a closed box or canvas screen, or even driving behind one. If we left our car parked on the street, before starting it again, we had to check it for bombs. When we initiated a relationship with a girl or any new acquaintance, we mistrusted their intentions. Not to speak of the times when we received calls requesting assistance or the seizure of a car which was abandoned on the street. The list is long, but I can assure you that the 1970s were really bad. You never knew by whom or when you were going to be killed. When a bomb went off, another phenomenon took place: no one came out to see what had happened or to assist the victims. One noticed that neighbors spied from behind the blinds. In time, we all got used to that “bad life”. Nowadays, a similar thing happens with crime and drug trafficking: people only cry and clap their hands in protest before TV cameras, demanding SECURITY. I am referring to the established security policy which has turned the streets of our country over to international drug trafficking. I find the talk on the ideals, youth, Christianity, social and community work, etc. of the 1970s hard to bear. It has no relation whatsoever with the terror and death, much less death brought ignobly, on the back, by treason. I do not claim that violent death can be noble, but avoiding open, armed confrontation is the coward’s choice, and the family is not involved in face to face combat.




I could never understand how young persons who were paid with our taxes to study at universities for free and granted the possibility of being professionals with a good income would devote their human potential to cause the death of other human beings, without distinguishing men from women and children. It never occurred to them that, as professionals, they could return part of what they had received, placing their expertise and their knowledge at the service of their country, as in other civilized countries. Well, in view of what those young idealists, many of whom currently hold high positions in the government, are doing to our country and the entire society, I am evidently talking nonsense.




When I read about the appropriation of babies, I can not understand it, and much less can I find an explanation for the mothers who, being pregnant, became involved in bloody events. They were nurturing life and, at the same time, taking lives, ruining their own and their children’s future. That “wonderful youth” did not seize other people’s children to raise and educate as their own: they just killed them. They denied them the possibility of playing, studying, having friends, falling in love, working, getting married and having children of their own. It was an atrocity which nobody mentions nowadays, not even the Church. The latter, in the best of cases, talks about it in a low voice, privately and behind closed doors. From 1969 to 1979, 29 children were killed, 79 were wounded and 34, kidnapped by the “wonderful youth”. At that time, there was a very common occurrence which the officers in charge of registering complaints, who usually assisted the parents of arrested (or seized or whatever term you prefer for it) youths found perplexing. This made a deep impact in me, and made me wonder about human nature, relations and blood ties. These seizures or arrests, almost always night-time events, were only reported the following day, despite there not being any hindrance to making the complaint immediately. Parents whose son or daughter had been seized assumed an extremely passive attitude. Were fear and the survival instinct stronger than the blood ties? It was something painfully shocking. No mother or father was beaten for trying to prevent their son or daughter to be taken, at least to clear their consciences.




In my time, we used to deal with “common criminals”, who lived by codes and kept their word. Needless to say, many of us also had our codes and honored our word, so as to be respected, to have authority beyond the carrying of a gun or a badge. Those criminals could fight us to avoid arrest or imprisonment, but all of us respected each other’s families. There was no idea of vengeance or attacks against family members. On the contrary, many times it was us who assisted the families of imprisoned criminals. Two or three years ago, one of those “acquaintances from the past” passed away (I left Bahía Blanca in 1979). I was told of a money collection organized for the man’s widow, and I sent $500. He deserved all my respect, despite his having been on opposite sides.


30,000 OR 7,000?


Similarly, I find hard to understand, because it exceeds me, how people could lie and back that lie up about the number: 30,000 missing persons during the dictatorship. Now, the number appears to be jus above 7,000 persons, according to undisputable people such as Luis Labraña, Graciela Fernández Meijide, Héctor Leis, Ceferino Reato and others. Were they mistaken in more than 22,000 people? Unbelievable. Unbelievable too, not to say ludicrous, is to expect confessions of us prisoners, guilty or not, when we only hear about the “wonderful youths” that they only carried out “social or community work”, even though they are not at risk of suffering any punishment. I have nothing to confess but, if I was guilty of some crime, in these radically dissimilar conditions I am positive that I would never admit to it. Now, if the people responsible for the missing persons were to speak up, what would be done about the 22,000-persons “mistake”?




In the 1970s, for many years no policeman had died from anything but natural causes. Suddenly, in varied circumstances and in a very short while, Deputy Superintendent Ramos was murdered and his 8 year old son, wounded; the Chief and Deputy Chief of the Brigade were severely wounded; so was a courier petty officer named Rojo, of the Second Precinct: he was quite lucky, for after having wounded him severely to seize his gun, they chose not to set fire to him, as was habitual in those times. Two bombs went off at the homes of another Chief of Brigade and his Deputy, the latter of which wounded a passer-by as well. The Federal Police Delegate was killed when he was leaving his home. There are some other cases which slip my mind, and all these without counting the military killed. Groups of peculiar people arrived in the city from different parts of the country. The police lost control of the streets. We were outnumbered, so we withdrew, similarly to what happens now: in view of the running of the police by politicians, it has become a force of verification. The same thing that is happening nowadays happened then, as Víctor Benamo, Esq., declared: “I attempted to drive the investigation of a partner of mine. However, the police was bound hand and foot. In those years, 230 members of the Police of the Province of Buenos Aires died at the hands of the wonderful youths, policemen who are only remembered and honored continuously by courageous Ms. VICTORIA VILLARUEL, Esq.




People feared the “social and community work” of the youths (much more than today’s fear of insecurity, because the former used bombs and caused massive deaths). Fear and distrust spread, even among ourselves. We knew that our personnel files had been taken out and copied. Almost the entire society began shifting, debasing itself. It was noticeable in the small details of daily life. One sad example of this is, when the police seized a significant amount of stolen jewels which had been taken from several victims, these victims “recognized” jewels that did not belong to them, so much so that, in order to avoid mistakes, we had to ask the robbers we had arrested where they had stolen each piece. That is, the criminal was more trustworthy than the victim.




In those times, society held the armed forces dear: Videla reached 60% popularity, surpassed by Galtieri with 90%. I will always keep in mind the images of a military parade on Alem Avenue, when Massera passed by standing on an open Jeep, wearing a hooded overcoat (it was probably in winter). People cheered and applauded wildly, especially women. I stood among the public, hearing the praises. It was an exact copy of what one can see nowadays in political acts, only that was spontaneous. Many of whom now cheer or are silent upon the arrest of the military or the military’s parents, in those times cheered and encouraged the armed forces to “show no mercy in the killing of our homeland’s enemies”. I was not told this. I witnessed it myself. I see them now celebrating Montonero’s Day in disbelief. Regrettably, information technology did not exist in those years, or else the hypocrisy of “the story” would have been registered, and many “democratic people” would be in my present circumstances. I wish the imprisoned military would contribute names, so that several thousands, among leaders, businessmen, labor unionists, usurers (you know who I am referring to, do you not?), lawyers, officials and politicians occupy the place that they deserve in prison. I would love to see it, and it would be a step forward towards uncovering the historic truth in Argentina. I know this to be a Utopia, for even in more serious countries, the large companies which turned profits by taking advantage of the Jewish Holocaust were never punished for it. Today, the governing hypocrisy and the “great achievements” of the government model, truth and justice, I am absolutely positive that we are rapidly laying the foundations for a society which will live immersed in complete anomy, in sorrow and in continuous bloodshed due to the “narco-state” being established in the country. The government and the leaders of all areas of power are mainly responsible for these circumstances, unless if this situation is believed to have fallen upon us from the sky.




Seeing the great number of victims who provide statements in the cases of crimes against humanity, I picture them in the 1970s. Due to their political affiliation, they were surely visiting underprivileged neighborhoods, doing their “social work”, crossing each other’s paths in the style of “Jehova’s Witnesses”, whom they greatly outnumber. I also wonder at the thought that we, the former men in uniform who are currently in prison, are a huge amount of people awaiting death. It makes me reflect that for them, there is no risk involved: it is just a matter of making statements and collecting subsidies. It is a much more efficient and lethal system than in the past.




Within this context of the 1970s, I had managed to buy and equip the best civil police car ever, a brand new car. It had special tires and wheels, a powerful engine and a 2-way radio including two channels, so with available petrol, I could move in a way that other policemen could not manage. This appears vey simple nowadays, but back then, it was almost impossible. So, adding willingness to work and several good informers, we could achieve good police results.




Because of the car’s characteristics, and as I knew the area, I drove it myself for several years on most occasions when delegations arrived in town (politicians, military, among them Calabró, Manrique, Lanusse). As a result, always in civil clothes, I participated in the banquets held for them, I stayed at the same hotels as they did, etc. I was a privileged witness of all that, hearing obsequiousness and flattery everywhere. The tone of the conversation increased gradually as the alcohol ingestion did, acquiring a distinct scent of blood and gunpowder on the part of the obsequious. Thus I felt the rise and fall of the different civil servants. The most shocking example of this was Lanusse’s last visit to Bahía Blanca.





In those years long before my arrest, I did not carry out any assignment or dynamic inquiry which could be deemed “obstruction of justice”. However, there are a series of insincerities registered as truths in this case file which I wish to set straight. Some are small details, some are far from small, and I want to set them down here, because it appears that they have passed unnoticed so far. I deeply regret that I am legally prohibited from acting as “investigator”. I am absolutely positive that I would tear apart the credibility of some “historic” court reports registered in this case file.



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